Daniliants Ventures helped us to address the target audience of the international art exhibition with the help of a landing page, visually and technically, so that the site will be used even after the exhibition. The static site content management system Hugo is pleasant to use. Our own work was facilitated by the technical income angle, which helped us achieve a pleasant customer experience and the right type of target audience.
Next, we present a very interesting case in even more detail and depth than usual. This 2017 project is about an extremely rare art exhibition in Finland and its presentation (noiseoftime.merikeskusvellamo.fi) . The value of the exhibition is further enhanced by the fact that the exhibition venue and the building itself, Merikeskus Vellamo , which opened in 2008, has won numerous awards in the tourism and construction industry. We wanted to bring out the specialness and magnificence of both the exhibition and the exhibition site online, but not in the traditional way, but with completely new means.
Merikeskus Vellamo, located in Kotka, which houses, for example, the Finnish Maritime Museum, the Kymenlaakso Museum, Information Center Vellamo and Kotka's cultural and event services, contacted us after starting cooperation with the Erarta Museum. Erarta is one of the largest Russian museums focused on contemporary art and the largest private museum of contemporary art in the whole of Russia. As a result of the cooperation between Merikeskus Vellamo and Erarta, Vellamo was receiving artworks from Erarta for the exhibition Noise of Time , which was open to the public in Kotka from 29 September to 26 November 2017. The exhibition was Erarta's first in Finland.
Merikeskus Vellamo approached us because they wanted to present the Noise of Time exhibition in a completely new way. You could even use the word awesome way as a unique and interesting exhibition was about to take place, with works of art rarely seen in Finland. We wanted as much visibility as possible for the art exhibition in a cost-effective manner. In the traditional way, Vellamo's website would have added a new subpage for the exhibition, but this time it was not enough. Instead, we thought about how to get visibility and visitors, and how things could be done bigger, so to speak.
Our task was to create a concept for marketing and improving visibility. Our proposal and solution to the challenge posed by the client were to make an own landing page for the exhibition. This art exhibition's landing page would be completely different from the norm and would stop the person arriving at the page to think and give an impression of an exhibition that is worth seeing. Multilingualism would also be essential, as we wanted to arouse and attract both Finnish and Russian visitors to the exhibition since Kotka is close to Russia. Of course, the page should also be in English, so that people other than those who speak Finnish and Russian could read about the exhibition and be interested in it.
So we proposed to create a visual background around the content provided by the client, which would be unique and include animation, create interest in the exhibition and cause a wow reaction in the visitors.
We designed Google advertising to be implemented so that remarketing audience is utilized. When a person comes to Merikeskus Vellamo's website, he/she automatically enters the remarketing audience on both Facebook and Google AdWords. This makes it possible to reach the person's information in other channels. In practice, it works so that when you want to promote the Noise of Time landing page, the advertising can be targeted at those who have already visited Merikeskus Vellamo's website. They are probably the ones who will continue to come back to visit again.
In addition to Google Ads, we planned to make the most of Facebook as well. On Facebook, you can create a so-called Lookalike Audience (a target group based on similarity), i.e. an audience that resembles a certain type of audience. In practice, remarketing data can be utilized by targeting advertising to those who resemble users who visit Merikeskus Vellamo's website.
Search engine advertising and display advertising as well as remarketing on Facebook and Google Ads would be carried out the whole time. Yandex , the largest search engine in Russia, would not be forgotten either but would be utilized to a small extent because geographically Kotka is so close to Russia.
If carried out in accordance with our concept, marketing would be handled in the following way:
Google Ads advertising uses text ads that appear when a web user searches for something related to art or museums. The aim of text ads is to get people to the landing page when they are looking for something related to the topic and are thus potentially interested in the exhibition. As a counterweight to text ads, animated HTML5 banners are used to help in remarketing advertising.
Visibility is also gained through the Google Ads display network and other sites. The ads are targeted in such a way that the person who sees the ad on another site either belongs to the desired target group (interests in art or modern art) or is on a site whose theme is related to art in one way or another.
Due to the ease of starting Facebook advertising and making ads, many companies rely on Facebook advertising whenever they want more visitors to their site or more likes. The majority of Facebook advertising is pretty basic advertising – image, text and link.
Regarding Facebook, the challenge was that Merikeskus Vellamo was already doing advertising and content boosting on Facebook. Many in the Kotka area had already seen a lot of their updates and advertisements. Because we wanted the new ads to attract attention and achieve good results, especially in the Kotka area, we had to do something new and different. We wanted to take advantage of Facebook's less used ad formats, one of which is Facebook Canvas. It enables the creation of a very interactive ad for Facebook mobile users.
Normally, a person sees an ad in the news feed, clicks on the ad and goes to the advertiser's page. This is the traditional way. We ended up using Facebook Canvas, or basic page ads, because these interactive mobile ads and full-screen experiences have much more potential.
With the help of Facebook Canvas, it is possible to have an ad appear in the news feed, with the video inside it automatically starting. Other image elements are available as well. When a video or other image element is clicked, a so-called canvas element covers the entire screen. In Canvas, information can be offered to the user in many formats and different functions can be displayed (e.g. "Buy a ticket"). Various interactive elements such as image carousels, videos, sounds and panoramas are possible.
The video in the canvas ad we designed starts playing when the user who sees the ad clicks it and the Canvas opens. The video contains interesting sounds. The advertisement covering the screen, which can be scrolled, tells a lot about the exhibition. The user does not have to go to another website, but sees everything relevant directly from the ad, making the experience positive. In this way, very good results are achieved in Facebook advertising.
Facebook Canvas is used to gain visibility on Facebook in areas where there may be potential museum visitors. Facebook is also used for remarketing. Advertising is targeted at people who are interested in art.
Since the landing page is also made in Russian, Russians are told about the existence of the exhibition through Yandex. Since there are not enough people belonging to the target group in the Russian cities close to the Finnish border, advertising is also done inside Finland. In this case, Russians living near the art museum who use Yandex and Russian-language sites will see advertisements.
In this way, you can conveniently target Russian-speaking, Russian-born or Russian people within Finland who use Yandex as a search engine and Russian websites. Russians living in Finland near Merikeskus Vellamo see banners that have been made and targeted to be seen just for them.
When we delivered the designs and proposals to the client and went through them together, we received feedback, based on which the project proceeded to the next stage, i.e. technical implementation. Plans began to become reality. That was exactly what was interesting, because everything possible was conceived and created by ourselves, so the realization of all this was interesting for the creators themselves.
When the landing page of the Noise of Time exhibition loads, an animation starts, which makes the visitor wonder what this is all about. In the animation, the visitor's screen is painted black, as if with a paintbrush. This is to get attention and the visitor to focus on what is essential.
The text also has a special effect. The text moves in a strange way and arouses interest. What on earth is going on now? It becomes clear from the text itself, which briefly tells what it is about. The visitor is advised to scroll down the page and continue on. All the while Kotka Vellamo Art is visible in the background.
As the person scrolls, all the basics are revealed. It becomes clear which exhibition it is and where it can be seen. Anyone who wants to attend the exhibition can immediately buy a ticket online.
When the visitor clicks "Buy ticket" or "Read more", all events are recorded in Google Analytics. Analytics and conversion tracking are enabled. In this way, it is possible to monitor how effective different advertising campaigns have been. It is possible to calculate which distribution channel from Facebook, Yandex and Google has been the most efficient.
Usability has been invested. The large menu provides easy access to important sections and information that the landing page contains.
The user can change the language and familiarize oneself with the exhibition in the language one knows the best. The landing page is technically implemented so that languages can be added as needed.
As you scroll further down, you'll see examples of the artwork. Let's talk about the exhibition in brief. With the help of social media sharing buttons, people will hopefully share the good news on social media as well.
We also wanted to bring the exhibition closer to the site visitor, and for that reason, in cooperation with the museum staff, we created an interactive panoramic experience for the site. With its help, it is possible to familiarize yourself with the exhibition already on the website.
Since there is Russian art on display and possible Russian visitors on the page, in addition to the traditional share buttons, there is also a VK button. VK (formerly VKontakte) is the most popular social site in Russia and its neighboring countries, which is why we wanted to make it easy to share information through it as well.
With a short exhibition description, we move on to the main works of art that we want to highlight. In addition, some of the works can be found in a collage where you can read the names and authors of the works. Every effort is made to give the best possible overview of what you would see if you came to the exhibition.
In addition to the exhibition, Merikeskus Vellamo and its architecture have been described. We wanted to highlight how amazing the building itself is. Especially those who have never been to Vellamo may not know that the building itself is a work of art. We thought for a long time about how to bring out the building's magnificence and how it could be best implemented. The end result is an animation where everything else stays still except the sky. Only the sky moves, so that the building itself is highlighted and shown in the best possible way.
Previously, information about a large part of the artists in the exhibition hasn’t been available in Finnish, so we wanted to make sure that information about the artists has been provided. This way you can familiarize yourself with their background information before going to see the artworks. You can also find a calendar, general information about the exhibition and the partners. An email link and links to Facebook and Instagram complete the landing page.
Every action important to the landing page (for example, a person clicks "Buy a ticket" or "Read more" and goes to Merikeskus Vellamo's website) is monitored, i.e. they are tracked using Google Analytics event tracking. The collection of event data enables conversion tracking.
Some events are monitored mainly in order to know whether, for example, a visitor coming from Facebook wants to visit, say, Merikeskus Vellamo's website or not. Some other events, on the other hand, serve as a basis for conversion tracking. For example, a conversion tracker has been created from ticket purchase to Analytics, which uses tracking data from "Buy a ticket" events as a basis. In this case, we can see which distribution channel has produced the most conversions, i.e. got the person to click on the "Buy a ticket" link. Unfortunately, the site that the person goes to when buying a ticket and where the actual purchase takes place, you can't really track the conversion anymore. It is a third-party site to which we do not have unrestricted access. However, we can still see how many people have clicked on the buy button - and those clicks are precisely what we want here.
It poses its own challenge if the website visitor has a Museum Card, as many do. In itself, it's a great card, but the person who owns it will never click on the link where they can buy a ticket to the show. As a Museum Card holder, a person can just walk into the museum, show the Museum Card and enter the art exhibition.
It is precisely for this reason that on the landing page of the Noise of Time exhibition, the second conversion is considered to be when a person actively spends more than two minutes on the page. Then it can be concluded that the person has probably converted and can be the owner of the Museum Card. If a person wasn't interested in the exhibition, they certainly wouldn't spend two minutes scrolling through the page.
In practice, the landing page has many different events, but only two conversions: A person spends at least two minutes on the page or a person clicks "Buy a ticket". In practice, these are used to measure how effective any advertising campaign has been.
In order to be able to see the statistics of the landing page as its own entity - in other words, separate from Merikeskus Vellamo - and to be able to evaluate its performance and reaching the goals as conveniently as possible, we added a new online property (property) to Google Analytics, i.e. a tracked object. We created our own Google Analytics for the landing page. The customer can view its and Merikeskus Vellamo's analytics from the same place. They can choose whether they want to see the actual website or just the analytics of the landing page...
When the Noise of Time exhibition ended on November 26, 2017, the landing page remained online, offering unique content about works and artists, and improving Merikeskus Vellamo's general search engine visibility. The aim is to get as many high-quality links to the page as possible, making it even more valuable in Google's eyes.
When the exhibition is over, the page will still work. But when the visitor comes to the website after the exhibition is over, it is clearly stated there that unfortunately the exhibition is over. However, those who have arrived at the website can still read and see what kind of artworks have been displayed in the exhibition. Vistor can read about artists and get information about Merikeskus Vellamo and its activities. And if a person wants to see the exhibited works of art, it is still possible at the Erarta Museum in St. Petersburg.
This practically ensures that the obtained search engine visibility does not disappear when the exhibition is over. A lot has been invested in the landing page, and this investment will be beneficial for the future as well.
The landing page is technically implemented so that it is a static page. The so-called Static Site Generator called Hugo has been used in the background.
In general, current pages and sites are dynamic, so when a visitor arrives at the site, the server sends a request to the database and retrieves the content from there. At the same time, the layout theme files are taken, content is entered into them on the fly, HTML and CSS code is generated and served to the visitor. On a dynamic site, a different page can be shown to each visitor, and even when logged in, they can see a different page than when not logged in. On a dynamic site, the server does a lot of work to generate a single page, and everything is usually backed by a content management system connected to a database.
The good thing about dynamic sites is definitely that you can create different content for different visitors depending, for example, on whether the user is logged into the site or not. On the other hand, the downside is that the content management system – be it WordPress or another – needs to be kept up to date. Even if a caching tool is used, the site will still be slower than a static site .
Static sites only have HTML and CSS, no database or anything else. Static sites are quite fast because they don't have any database. The server delivers all the files as soon as it receives a request from the visitor's browser. Since files do not need to be generated, they are usually already in the server's memory. If there are tens or hundreds of thousands of simultaneous visitors, a static site will do fine because it does not burden the server . It doesn't have any dynamics, it just delivers files - and that's it.
A dynamic site, on the other hand, puts a strain on the server. Unless cache or other complex adjustments have been made, for example, a WordPress site will never be able to match the speed of an ordinary static site. Of course, you can get various tools and other things for WordPress too, but they create their own problems.
Above all, when using a static site, various services can be utilized, for example the global content delivery network Amazon CloudFront . Files uploaded to Amazon CloudFront are automatically replicated, i.e. copied, to dozens or hundreds of servers around the world . Many servers are located in Australia, USA, Asia and various locations in Europe.
Using Amazon CloudFront, a static site can be easily replicated around the world, because a static site does not require any generation and is done all at once. Thus, when a person arrives at the site, Amazon CloudFront automatically delivers the site from the nearest server. If the server is located in Australia, the site will be delivered to the Australian person from Australia. This is why the site loads as fast as a standard Australian site. The same is true in India and everywhere else. There are several servers in Europe, as well as in North America, Brazil and many other corners of the world.
In practice, this means that a static site can be automatically replicated and made really fast with Amazon CloudFront. Of course, content management systems can also use the same systems, but it's more difficult because there are a lot of things that you should know how to take into account. If the content management system uses some caching tool that generates static files and then transfers them to Amazon CloudFront, then when a person updates their site, the process must be done again. Making a similar system correctly in WordPress or other content management systems requires much more time, and there are many more opportunities for things to go wrong at some point.
A static site can't really be hacked because there is no database or passwords, only HTML and CSS files. The source code and structure of these files can already be seen in an Internet browser by viewing the source code of the file. Data security is at a high level, because there is no possibility of hacking anything.
The only problem with static sites is that they require knowledge of HTML code to edit them. It's not very practical. Content management systems were born precisely because there was no longer a desire to modify the HTML code to add or update one news item or other pieces of content.
This is where Hugo, static site generator, comes into play. It can be used to create a site that is technically static, yet easy to add and edit content. Hugo is told what the theme is, how things should appear, and where content can or cannot be added. Every time you add content, a process is started where Hugo builds the entire site from scratch and creates all static files.
With Hugo, the customer can be offered an admin panel that is as easy to use as the WordPress equivalent. Everything goes so easily that the customer may not even know that the site is static. When the customer updates the site, a lot of all kinds of things happen in the background. However, everything goes quite quickly.
Even though all this is happening, the user will not notice any difference in practice. The only difference is that the changes take a little more time due to the fact that the whole site has to be regenerated. When the regeneration is still in progress, the old version of the site is visible. Once the regeneration has gone through successfully, only then will the site be changed to the new version. All versions remain saved. For example, if something is done accidentally, you can easily go back to any version. In other words, there is a kind of time snapshot of the entire site that can be returned to with one click. It is just selected and clicked "Publish deploy".
Every change made in the control panel is automatically made as a so-called git-commit, which is saved in the version control system. Once it's done, optimization is completed (images are optimized, for example) and the site is built. When everything is ready, the current version of the site will be changed to the latest possible version. In practice, all changes made by the client are automatically in version control. From the version control, we can see what changes have been made (for example, the navigation has been changed or a full stop has been removed from the text). We can analyze to a great extent what has been done to a page or the entire site.
On the Noise of Time exhibition page, we use the free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt . It is created automatically for all customer domains that use Hugo's static site technology. HTTPS protocol tells the visitor that the website is secure. Google also favors such sites and they have a better chance of being visible in the search results.
At the same time, we use HTTP/2 Server Push technology, which requires the use of SSL technology. In practice, HTTP/2 Server Push means that certain files can be automatically downloaded to the browser when the user arrives at the website and loads the front page. Thanks to this, the customer experience is much better.
To manage Merikeskus Vellamo's landing page, our customer has used a control panel that offers a really easy and clear way to edit all elements. If you want to update the information of, say, one artist, it's extremely easy. The different tabs have information and texts in Finnish, Russian and English, so by switching from one tab to another, you can directly edit the desired language version.
For the updater, managing the landing page is as easy as using any content management system. Everything is extremely easy, so the customer has liked it a lot. Above all, it is easy for the customer to update and edit.
If we think about the technical side of the page and what is found deeper than the surface, the whole is anything but simple. The protected and encrypted static page is secure, highly optimized and, with the use of Amazon CloudFront, copied or replicated around the world. Thanks to Amazon CloudFront and automatic optimizations, the page loads really fast from anywhere in the world.
Despite the challenges, the project went quite well. The participants were Merikeskus Vellamo, our company and also the Russian Erarta museum. Communication between different parties was key. Even though the project was handled completely remotely, it went very well and smoothly.
We had a lot of Skype meetings. We delivered the new layout versions using the InVision tool, which made it possible for the customer to leave comments directly on the layout. At the same time, we were able to discuss certain points of the layout or other issues. We received all the necessary files and materials from Merikeskus Vellamo quickly and easily via Dropbox.
Working with the client was extremely fun and interesting. Above all, it was important to us that the customer wanted new ideas from us and was really receptive, which motivated us to also think about unconventional solutions.
The feedback we received from our customer can be read below.
Noise of Time's landing page makes you wonder what piques people's attention and stimulates their interest in the exhibition. The page that stops the user is a spectacular revelation. What is most important from the user's point of view, appearance has not been made at the expense of speed as the landing page has been created into a fast and elegant design.
Despite the challenges posed by the design and the technical side, we were able to produce a page for the client that meets all needs. In a good way, the different landing page brings all the necessary information to view in a new, fresh way which also works on mobile devices. Every detail is carefully thought out. The feedback we have received has been extremely good.
We had the pleasure and honor to work on such a diverse, challenging and rewarding project. In the future, we are ready to break the boundaries and make landing pages and other websites with a completely new way of thinking. Do you need a landing page or perhaps you want a website that brings sales? If you answered yes, please get in touch without delay.